Appeal for Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles



The following appeal was posted in the London Times regarding reunification at:



The Parthenon above Athens is one of the world's most famous images, as are the Colosseum, Stonehenge, the Pyramids, the Alhambra, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and the Statue of Liberty, etc. These symbols represent the heart and soul of their respective countries, and the pride of their populations. Whether the battle over the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles is too political, the taking was a form of theft, or the currently located marbles in London are safely preserved is not really the debate anymore. In the world we all currently live in, travel to almost any destination is within the reach of much of the world's population, and cultural digital media is easily accessible, so collecting items for local display is not as critical as it once was. All artifacts from around the world should not need to be returned to their countries of origin, but restoring the most important cultural icons of a country seems a far more significant task.

The new Acropolis Museum was designed with large windows facing towards the Parthenon, so while protecting the marbles in a safe and environmentally sound space they can be viewed closest to their source, inspiring all who visit them. The marbles have achieved iconic stature and mythological significance to Greece and its people. There is no better way to understand a culture more deeply than to know and appreciate its mythos, its stories, its dreams. Thus, the return of the marbles becomes an emotional and sociological issue, regardless of historical facts. In this light, the entire world can appreciate the cultural importance of the location of the Parthenon Marbles. Perhaps Cavafy summed it up most eloquently in his poem Ionic:

That we’ve broken their statues,
that we’ve driven them out of their temples,
doesn’t mean at all that the gods are dead.
O land of Ionia, they’re still in love with you,
their souls still keep your memory.
When an August dawn wakes over you,
your atmosphere is potent with their life,
and sometimes a young ethereal figure,
indistinct, in rapid flight,
wings across your hills.